jedusor: (neuron art)
Here is what I love about babies, all right. Adults, they see somebody do something they can't do, and they go: "Wow, that's amazing! I could never do that." Or sometimes: "Ooh, I'd like to learn how to do that someday." Babies, they see somebody do something they can't do, and they go: "Oh hey sweet, empirical evidence that this thing can be done! Move over, bitch, lemme try!" And then when they can't do it, they try again. And then they get frustrated, and take a break to scream, and then they eat something or sleep for a while, and then go: "Oh yeah, that thing! MAYBE I CAN DO IT NOW." You gotta admire that.
jedusor: (neuron art)
I'm in Chicago with my family for Christmas, and it's by far the longest I've spent with them in years. I'm actually not sure I've spent more than a week with any of these guys since I moved away around my seventeenth birthday. I've been sick for a few days, which sucks, but other than that it's been mostly good. I love my weirdo clan a lot. It's been nice to revisit all our family Christmas traditions, Mom's been cooking like a fiend and my stepdad has been baking my favorites, and my brothers have all grown into pretty cool people.

It's been interesting, though, to note the ways I've changed over the last few years. Like: Mike gets pretty much traumatized by yelling, so I've learned to be aware of when I'm about to lose my temper and tap out of the conversation before it reaches that point. And Mike knows that's what's happening, and doesn't push it. But that's not how we did it in my family growing up--arguments always continued long past the point of potential resolution. So now when I feel myself reaching a point where I can't communicate productively and I exit the situation, my family gets confused and irritated about it.

And my sense of humor has changed, or I suppose is in the process of changing. In this family, intelligence is valued above pretty much everything, and wit is the most common way to express intelligence. So if you think of something funny, you say it. Doesn't matter if it's gonna make someone feel bad, as long as it's funny enough to make up for it. This is something I still struggle with a bit myself, because instincts are hard to fight. But I am trying to fight them, whereas when I was younger I embraced the "it's okay to be an asshole if you're funny enough" philosophy.

And there are the trodden-toe situations. You know the metaphor: when you step on someone's toe by mistake, you don't tell them not to be hurt because you didn't mean it, and you don't argue about whether your foot had more of a right to occupy that space than theirs. You just apologize. This is one I think I've gotten a lot better at over the years, and it's kind of a jolt to be back in a place where being right is generally more important than anything else.

I think I was at least vaguely aware of most of this when I lived with my family, but I've changed in another important way since then: my values have had some time and space to settle, and I don't spend nearly as much time worrying about whether the thing I just insisted I believed was actually flat-out wrong. I'm pretty solid where I stand on this stuff. I might not be perfect about implementing my values, but I know what I'm aiming for. That's actually really reassuring. As is the fact that I know Mike is with me on all of this.

Like I said, I do love my family and I am very glad I'm here. It's just that there's this extra person floating around in the back of my head right now, the teenager I used to be, and I don't really get to check in with her that often, so I'm trying to take the opportunity to work through the things that might be important.
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
A big part of my growing-up process has been coming to terms with the fact that people change, and people grow apart, and even the closest relationships can't promise to last forever because it's impossible to know who you'll be and whether you'll fit in the future. Funny that I've never had any delusions about romantic relationships in this regard, but I have so much trouble shaking the belief that friendships are till-death-do-us-part. They certainly can last that long, but you can't promise they will. You can't know in advance which ones will.

I keep thinking I've learned this lesson, and I keep being wrong.
jedusor: (neuron art)
I'm going clubbing tonight with some friends, and we're wearing costumes, kind of--in the sense of sexy tights and horns, not in the sense of actually attempting to depict anything. I pretty much don't wear makeup at all these days, but this is the sort of outfit that calls for it, so I decided I wanted some dark purple lipstick. Last time I bought lipstick that looked purple in the tube it actually turned out to be red, so first I googled "purple lipstick reviews" to find some pictures of people comparing different shades. I took notes on my phone organizing them in order of preference and trotted off to Target to buy me some facepaint.

Target had none of them. I asked if they had any dark purple at all, thinking I could google-image it on my phone, and the salesperson said no. No? Okay, there are like four colors that lipstick can be, right? Red, pink, brown, purple. Target has aisles and aisles of makeup and they only have three of the four options? That's like a Bed, Bath & Beyond that only sells beds and beyond.

She shrugged and offered me a shade of vaguely purplish red that was nowhere near what I wanted, then directed me across the street to Nordstrom with a warning that it would be expensive. I went warily, telling myself that if they tried to charge me more than twenty bucks I'd just use black eyeliner on my lips like I did at Pride.

I found Nordstrom's rack of MAC testers and blinked at them for a moment before asking someone else perusing them if she knew where the names were. A salesperson magically appeared as I asked the question (there was not even anything for her to have been hiding behind, I have no idea where the hell she materialized from) and plucked a tube from the rack to show me, as she and the other customer chorused with matching tones of disbelief, "They're on the bottom."

Oookay. Clearly I missed a few lessons in How To Be A Girl school. I checked a few of the darker tubes and found one marked "Cyber," my second choice. "How much is this?" I asked the salesperson.

"They're all fifteen dollars."

"Okay, I'll take it," I intended to say, but before I opened my mouth, she had once again vanished into whatever spacetime portal she clearly had at her disposal. I stood there awkwardly for a moment, trying to figure out what customer service protocol could possibly incorporate Disapparating right before an obvious sale. The other customer continued to browse, pointedly averting her eyes from me.

Eventually I tracked down another salesperson with a little more respect for the laws of physics and asked if they had my first-choice shade. "Hm," she said. "I don't think so. Do you know what collection that's from? It might have been limited-edition."

Lipstick comes in collections? There are four colors, how do they make collections out of that? "Sorry, I'm not sure," I said. "I'll just get the Cyber, then."

"Sure, I just need to finish up with my appointment and I'll get that to you in a minute."

Oh. You're supposed to make appointments to buy lipstick. I did not know that. "Take your time," I said, and stood around awkwardly some more. The other customer by the MAC rack had somehow summoned the first salesperson, who was doing something to one of the tubes. As I watched, she handed it over to the customer, who applied it directly to her lips. I began to wonder if there was a makeup acquisition user's manual somewhere I could consult.

Fortunately, the other salesperson reappeared with the Cyber before I managed to actively set anything on fire. She whisked me off to a register--she didn't actually touch me, but the way she guided me there was impressively forceful. As she rang me up, she complimented my week-and-a-half-old brick-and-mortar-patterned nails and asked if I wanted a bag.

I looked at my purchase dubiously. "Do people really ask for a bag for one tube of lipstick?" I asked.

"Well," she said. "It says MAC on it."

"Oh," I said, baffled, and stowed my new lipstick in the pouch of my flour-dusted Phoenix Coyotes hoodie.

Maybe next time I'll plan ahead and order this shit online.
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
Excerpts from Amazon reviews for various garlic presses:

(from a review titled "My Special, Steely Friend") "I'm afraid I've developed an unhealthy relationship with this garlic press."

"This thing is built like a tank."

"I showed my fiancee how it works and she seems to be impressed."

"As others have reported here, the handle retains water that can drip out into your guacamole or other favorite dish. Alternatively, in your frustration, you can administer a thorough shaking to get the water out. Unfortunately that propels water drops all over your kitchen which can be a source of further aggravation. All-in-all, probably better to look elsewhere for your next garlic press -- unless you're into drama."

"As an added bonus, you could probably blackjack and knockout an intruder while holding this thing."

"I've retired my old garlic press to lesser, cruder duties."

Review title: "Anthony Bordain Be Damned"

"Since I bought this garlic press, I have been using more garlic than needed."

"This press is so awesome, sometimes I just press garlic for fun."

"Crushes garlic? No, it obliterates garlic."

"This smashes garlic like I WISH the Cleveland Browns could smash the Steelers. *sigh*"
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
If I were the protagonist, it would have made sense for Ava to die.

I wasn't kidding when I said she was the only person I've ever been in love with. I've been in a good, strong relationship for five years, and I've loved plenty of people, but I'm pretty much aromantic. I don't do in love. The only reason I did it with Abby, I think, was because she herself was so madly in love with love. She bought into it, all of it, real odds-defying reason-scrambling Princess-Bride-style true love, and if I could give her any of that, I had to. Like being GGG about a kink that drives your partner wild, and discovering that it actually works for you just because they're so into it.

It's frustrating beyond belief, how narratively perfect our story was, in a pretentious literary-fiction sort of way. The last time I saw her in person was at her driver's ed class, did I tell you that? It was in Arizona in early summer--June, I think--and the heat was overwhelming. She didn't seem to mind; she'd grown up in it, and I know her mother has always loved the desert. We'd spent the night making pie and kissing and laughing and not sleeping very much, and in the morning her mother took her to driver's ed class and I came along. That might have been the car she died in; I'm not sure, but it's likely, and if so, talk about foreshadowing. We dropped her off, and then Tamara took me to the motel where my mom was staying, or maybe she took me back to their house and Mom picked me up, I wasn't paying a whole lot of attention.

She was learning a lesson that night, I think, and then I learned a very different lesson, and then she died in a car accident, and the reader would remember the driver's ed and maybe the car if it really was the same one--in a story, it would have been more clear than it is in my memory--and it would have been satisfying. Because if I were the protagonist, of course the girl I fell in love with would die.

If Ava were the protagonist (and Christ, if ever anyone were a born protagonist) it wouldn't have been pretentious literary fiction and no one would have had to die. It would have been a light little romance story about a vivacious heroine meeting a cynical love interest who doesn't believe in romance, and maybe it would have ended at pie and kisses. Or maybe it would have been a more modern story--we were both girls, after all--and she would have gone off to college and grown up on her own terms and then run into me a few years later, which did happen. Maybe it would have ended just before she died, when we were finally talking again, and anything could have happened. She wouldn't have died. Nobody dies in romance stories except older relatives whose funerals provide convenient scenarios for emotional vulnerability.

I don't spend that much time thinking about this, really. If I did, my life would be miserable, and it's not. I'm happy. Just... not happily-ever-after. Really, really not that.

On pronouns

Jul. 8th, 2013 09:36 pm
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
I don't know firsthand what it's like to be misgendered; I'm mostly cis, enough to be comfortable with the pronouns people generally assume apply to me. (I do actively dislike being referred to as a "woman" or a "lady" and strongly prefer "person" unless gender is pertinent information to include in the conversation--which it almost never is--but it's not upsetting on the level of misgendering.) But I once corrected a friend on someone else's pronouns and was incredibly taken aback by his derisive eyeroll, and that gave me a little bit of an idea of what trans people have to deal with. It's easy for me to assume that because someone is progressive in other ways, and is part of social circles that are generally safe spaces, that they understand and are supportive of gender diversity. But there's no way to predict that for sure. Every time a trans person corrects someone who misgenders them, they run the risk of being shamed or dismissed. I think that sucks.

For the last year or so, I've been making an effort to incorporate "what pronouns do you prefer?" into introductory small talk when meeting a new person in fandom, along with name and location and such, and to use "they" when I don't know someone's preferred pronouns. Of course fandom isn't the only community where the question is relevant, but it's the only one in my life where pretty much everyone automatically gets what I'm talking about and gives a helpful answer. I've never had a negative reaction, and there have been a few "oh, that's awesome, I should start doing that" responses.

In theory, I'd like to do this with everyone I meet. In practice, it is not always helpful to initiate a discussion of gender politics while shaking hands, and a lot of people would be offended by the implication that their gender wasn't obvious from their presentation. When I worked in retail, I had to heuristically assume gender constantly, because I was expected to address people as "sir" or "ma'am." Now that I don't have to do that, I generally don't use those terms. It's pretty much impossible to go through life without assuming anyone's gender at all, but it's possible to be aware of doing it and avoid it when it's not necessary, and I'm working on that.
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
I'm not generally too emotionally affected by death and horror in the news. I'm good at staying detached, and I see that as a good thing, for the most part. I know people who get overwhelmed by all the nasty shit that happens in the world, and it's hard for them. I think most Americans are pretty good at keeping their emotional distance from things that happen in other countries, and only get really invested when there are other Americans involved. Sometimes that seems hypocritical to me, but that's actually bullshit, unless they're faking it. Emotional reactions are what they are, and I shouldn't judge other people's. It makes sense for people to be most affected by events they feel close to. My knee-jerk accusations of hypocrisy are just me being defensive about the fact that I don't cry over school shootings.

This Boston Marathon thing, though. This shook me up. A big part of that, I'm sure, is that Patrick Burke was running the marathon for You Can Play, and live-tweeting the experience, and it took a while after the explosions for him to update the internet about his well-being. I already end up in tears every time I spend too much time thinking about Brendan Burke's death and legacy; I don't know how I would handle it if anything happened to Patrick. I don't know him personally, aside from a couple of Twitter interactions, but I follow his Twitter account religiously and his work with YCP matters to me on a level I'm not sure it's possible to explain.

Patrick's last tweet before the news of the explosions broke was, "If I don't make it through this, I want my last words to be: I love my family. I love hockey. And I hate the instigator rule." Or something like that. He's deleted that tweet now, for obvious reasons.

Another possible reason that this has affected me so much is that the last time I was at the place where the explosions happened, it was during the 2009 Boston Marathon. I jaywalked through the marathon itself, as a matter of fact; I hadn't known the marathon would be happening that day, and found myself on the opposite side of it from the store I'd made the long pilgrimage from Worcester to visit. That was approximately half a block away from the intersection where the second explosion went off. I didn't actually remember that incident until I clicked through to the Boston Globe's graphic of the area hours after the explosions happened, but I know well enough that brains sometimes pick up on things without necessarily letting you know.

When I decided I'd had enough of refreshing Twitter for updates on the situation in Boston, I went to the park for a while. I put on my socks that Ava gave me, the pink ankle socks with I ♥ ORLANDO on them that she got for me in Thailand, where everything was dirt-cheap and slightly nonsensical. They have giant holes in the heels now--I wore them so much in my mid-teens that they were already falling apart when Ava died, and I don't think I've worn them since. I felt the urge today, though, because humans are strange and sometimes tragedy loves company. I swung on the swings for quite a long time, and I tried to sort out my thoughts and feelings. I'm pretty good at feelings, despite what those of you who know my fandom tastes might think. I know how they work. I just don't like them very much.

I spent a lot of time in parks when I was a teenager, swinging on swings. I thought at the time that I was escaping my family, but it turns out that even when you don't have to share your space with five other people and three to four animals, sometimes it helps to go to a park and swing for a while.

The Coyotes/Sharks game is about to start. Phoenix is barely clinging to the edge of their playoff hopes, and Smitty's out with an injury again, damn it. I don't even know what LaBarbera's deal is. But Johnson's been good for us in net the few times he's had to play this season, so I'm optimistic. Hockey is a good thing to think about. I'm gonna go think about that.
jedusor: (neuron art)
How this works: You comment here, I give you an age (please tell me how old you currently are, to minimize the chances that answering will require time travel), and you fill out the meme questions as they applied to you then and apply to you now.


I lived in:

At 18: I started the year living with my grandparents in California, then moved to the dorms at Clark (in Worcester, MA) and then in the summer lived in a sublet room near campus. I fucking hated dorm living, especially having to share a kitchen with twenty-odd other people and bathroom with about half that. So even though the house I moved into was ancient, and had questionable plumbing, and there was no garbage disposal, and I had to lug my laundry three blocks to a laundromat, it was still a big improvement.

Now: The bottom unit of a nice duplex in Seattle. We've had a few issues with it, but the landlord (a friend of my stepdad's who lives in the upstairs unit) has been pretty good about handling them quickly. And we have an awesome washer and dryer that were brand new when we moved in, a water heater to ourselves, and basically my ideal kitchen. I'm pretty happy with it. And I adore this city.

I drove:

At 18: Nothing, and boy was I mad about it. That summer was when I arranged to buy a motorcycle off a friend of my mom's--it was a great bike, a Honda CBR 600 with like three thousand miles on it, and I was incredibly psyched. I'd taken all the training for it, I'd talked it all through with the seller, and I'd invested (considerable, for me) resources in getting down to San Jose to look at the bike, having it checked out by someone who knew what warning signs to look for, and calling in a favor from a friend with a motorcycle trailer to get it up to Sonoma for me. Then, weeks after the conversation where the seller explicitly said she was sure enough about this that it would be okay for me to transport it as soon as I had the means, and a few days before I was planning to actually go get it, she backed out on me. I think she got cold feet because that bike was a psychological representation of the freedom she'd had before she started having kids, and she didn't want to let that go. In retrospect, I should have just done it; the guy who'd been holding it for her for five years wanted it out of his garage, and I had a written record of her saying yes, if the bike passed muster when I went to look at it in person, I could take it with me. Sigh.

Now: A white 2001 Kia Rio with a failing transmission that's going to give up the ghost on us any day now, at which point it's back to busing, walking, and bumming rides until we can afford another car.

I was in a relationship with:

At 18: [livejournal.com profile] projectyl, whom I'd met through the National Puzzlers' League and tried with increasing stubbornness and decreasing efficacy not to fall for over the course of six months.

Now: Same dude. This surprises no one more than me.

I feared:

At 18: Absolutely jack shit.

Now: Failing at adulthood and having to rely on others. These are the same thing in my head. (Yeah, I know.)

I worked at:

At 18: Pier 1 Imports. I didn't mind that job while I had it, but dear god do I never want it back.

Now: Science. Ish. More childcare at the moment.

I wanted to be:

At 18: A neuropsych researcher using primarily fMRI techniques to study social judgment and preference behavior.

Now: Same. Aside from the terminology, my answer to that question has been the same since I was 13. This is why it's so damn frustrating that I can't get into grad school. I know exactly what I want to be doing and I can't do it.

A nom

Apr. 3rd, 2013 11:23 pm
jedusor: (food: dessert)
2 large slices sourdough bread
1 avocado, halved & sliced
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, squeezed
olive oil
tomato slices
kosher salt (or not kosher, whatever floats your boat)

Toast bread, put half an avocado on each slice, add garlic & mush it around until the garlic is spread out and the avocado is more of an even spread than individual slices, drizzle with olive oil, place tomato slices on top, sprinkle with salt.

Pumpkins!

Nov. 1st, 2012 10:32 pm
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
One of these pumpkins is a vampire kitty, one is a hockey goalie, and one is a puzzle. They were created by me, Mike, and Macey. See if you can guess who designed which.



This was actually Macey's first ever pumpkin-carving experience! Apparently pumpkin-carving is not so much a thing in the UK. I think she did pretty okay.



We didn't have any pumpkin-carving-specific tools, so given that all I had on hand were steak knives and paring knives, I went minimalist with my design. I think it's recognizable.



Mike was very resistant to the whole idea of gourd art until I told him to make his pumpkin into a puzzle, at which point he kind of went quiet and then five seconds later reached for a piece of paper and a pen. The actual carving was done by me, because goop and also knives. It's solvable from the picture, and super-easy since it has all the givens, because Mike hates my right wrist and wants it to be sad. (For those of you unfamiliar with Slitherlink, the idea is to connect the dots such that each number borders that number of lines.)
jedusor: (neuron art)
First of all, I want to say that I've been enjoying your weight training course immensely. Your teaching style meshes well with my learning style, and I've started actively looking forward to classes, which is saying a lot for an 8am start time. The issue I want to address here isn't actually a big deal for me personally; I just want to speak up on behalf of people with less comfortable body images than mine (which I think is most people) who might be negatively affected by a conversation like the one we had today.

I don't normally spend much time tooting the health-at-every-size horn, because I understand that for most people, health gain is correlated with at least some weight loss. And I have no objections to full-class discussions of how weight training affects body weight, because it's relevant information and because I know that a lot of people do have weight-loss goals and are particularly interested in hearing that sort of thing. But when someone tells you in a one-on-one conversation that their goals are strictly strength-oriented and they're not there to lose weight, and you keep saying, "yeah, but the weight loss is a bonus!", that sends a message I don't think you're trying to send.

As I'm sure you're aware, being as physiologically focused as you are, different people have different healthy body weights. I spent a year commuting 18-30 miles a week on my bike, and I was much healthier and stronger, but my body didn't look any different. And I was fine with that; as I said, I have a good relationship with my body. I care about what it can do, not what it's shaped like. But most people my size aren't as comfortable in their skin as I am, and hearing reassurances that exercise will result in weight loss when it might not can be very discouraging for them, especially when our culture is so singlemindedly focused on weight over any other measure of health.

Like I said, I don't normally bother trying to talk to people about this stuff. But you're a teacher, and you have a lot of power when it comes to people's mindsets. So if you have another student who's trying to shed the pressure and focus on the pounds they can pick up instead of the pounds they've lost, I hope you'll keep this in mind.

Thanks for listening, and I'll see you Wednesday!
jedusor: (fandom: i heart yaoi)
Amanda Palmer recently broke a million dollars on the Kickstarter for her latest album, Theatre Is Evil. The original fundraising goal of the Kickstarter was $100,000. Here is a blog post wherein she talks about what she did with all that money. It involved a lot of wiggle room.

Now she's going on tour, and she's not paying her backing musicians. When people reacted badly to this, she wrote this blog post basically saying, "it's not about the money, it shouldn't be about the money, don't be mad because some musicians are happy to play for hugs and free drinks."

This intrigues me because of what it implies about her psychologically. I think the underlying problem here is that AFP doesn't understand how her social position has changed over time. She broke into the music scene in Boston, where there's a strong creative community that values art for art's sake and ideas like "it's not about the money." As she makes clear in that blog post, she used to be one of those struggling musicians who would happily play for bar peanuts. That's the kind of worldview she's coming from, and she's never shaken it off. She takes a lot of pride in that.

Which is fine, from an ideological perspective, but from a practical perspective, it means she acts like she's still a broke street performer. The way she talks about bumming off friends and family for eight months while putting together this record in the "what I did with my million bucks" post leads me to believe that she actually still thinks of herself as a broke street performer. Sure, she makes shit-tons of money, but then she spends it all on elaborate stage shows and music videos and Kickstarter rewards for her fans. If she pours everything she earns back into the art, I think she feels like it doesn't really count.

What it seems like she's missing, kind of ironically, is that social status isn't all about the money. She can spend every last cent in the bank on wigs and turntable decorations if she wants, as it sounds like she may have in fact done, and she'll still have fame, fans, and resources that put her in a position where it's very easy to take advantage of people. Yes, I'm sure there are many musicians out there who would jump at the chance to make music with Amanda Fucking Palmer on whatever terms she cares to specify. They might be the same people who would be perfectly willing to play a bar gig for free because a buddy asked them to. These situations are not the same, and the fact that AFP thinks they are makes it abundantly clear that she doesn't understand the influence she has. She uses it, constantly--did you see the part of that blog post about how she asks fans to bring free home-cooked dinner for her and her band at all the shows they play?--but she doesn't understand it.

>.>

Aug. 10th, 2012 12:25 am
jedusor: (you can play)


And this is the offseason. 100 G+ posts takes me back to June 20th, a couple weeks after the playoffs ended. I'm kind of afraid to find out how much space that green section would have taken up in April/May. Or how much space it's going to take up in October if the collective bargaining negotiations wrap up in time to avoid a lockout.
jedusor: (Default)
(Note to [livejournal.com profile] mamagotcha: please point Linker here after he opens the package I'm going to mail in the morning. I'll ping you to make sure you've seen this if you don't comment.)

Dear Lincoln,

Happy birthday! Sorry I'm a little late with this. I hope you had a good day, and that age 8 is treating you well so far. I hear there was mini-golf--sounds like a good time.

Mom says you've been really into Pokemon lately. That's awesome. The Pokemon card game came out when I was 8, and for a while Cord and Clay and I spent almost all of our time playing Pokemon, talking about Pokemon, trading Pokemon cards, hanging out at the store where they sold Pokemon cards, and saving up to buy more Pokemon cards. I think it was probably my first social fandom, which means it was the first time I got really excited about something that a lot of other people were excited about too, so we could talk about it and be excited together. Being excited about something with other people who are excited about the same thing is really, really fun.

I stopped being so excited about Pokemon after a few years and found other things to be excited about instead, like Harry Potter and motorcycles and learning about how brains work. Right now, I'm really excited about hockey. But even though I wasn't playing Pokemon anymore, I kept all my cards. I'm not even sure why I took them to college with me, since I didn't have very much space to put things. But I'm glad I did, because at my graduation party Cordell and I took them out and played Pokemon. I beat his pants off. It was fun.

I haven't played the game since then. I don't think I even looked at the cards again until today, when I found out that you've started collecting them, so I pulled them out and went through them. Remember I told you I had 418 cards? It turns out I was wrong, and I actually had 470! But now I have less than that, because I made two decks and sent them to you. I made you one deck with all Plant cards and one deck with Water and Fighting cards. There's a nifty Trainer in that deck called Mysterious Fossil that evolves into a couple different Pokemon. If it's hard to figure out, ask Cordell for help. (If he won't play with you, ask him if he remembers how patient the big kids at The End Zone were with him, and I bet he'll do it.)

I had a really good time sitting on my living room floor going through all my cards and building those decks, talking to Clayton on the phone about Pokemon. Did you know Clay was a Pokemon for Halloween one year? He was Sandshrew. That was about 13 years ago. We talked about how these cards are older than you are, and we talked about the neighbor kids we used to trade Pokemon cards with, and talking to Clayton about Pokemon made me remember how excited we used to be. It was cool to remember that, so thank you for making me think about it.

Maybe in a while I'll send you some of my holographic rares, too. It's kind of silly that I'm worried about bad things happening to them, because they're not really worth all that much money. Sometimes people are silly about things that are important to them, though, and my cards used to be really, really important to me. But they're supposed to be played with, they're not supposed to be kept hidden on a bookshelf. So if you keep being excited about Pokemon, and you promise to take good care of them, I'll try to stop being silly and let you have them.

For now, I hope these will keep you busy. Have fun!

Love,
Julia
jedusor: (Default)
Earlier this month, I went to the National Puzzlers' League convention in Portland and saw a whole bunch of my favorite folks. I met a few new ones too, although not as many as usual. I think I've gotten to the point where there are enough NPLers that I really want to hang out and catch up with that I have very little time and energy to seek out new people. But there were a few! I don't remember having interacted with Ender before, and he was cool. And Joanna wasn't really a new person, but I hadn't met her in meatspace before. Also, Xemu's daughter Iboo kind of glommed on to me, and hugged me for approximately 10 minutes straight when she discovered it was my birthday.

Some pictures, mostly taken with my phone )

After the con, Ertch rode back up to Seattle with us and spent the evening hanging out before his flight home. He and Mike and I played a variant of Catch Phrase made up by me wherein every clue had to relate somehow to the NPL or a particular NPLer, which was great fun. Also, I performed a "Tim Tam Slam" as instructed with diagrams by Joanna, who had given me some vegan chocolate-covered cookies from Australia. A tasty end to a mostly-fabulous weekend.
jedusor: (Default)
I thought I'd lost these because I didn't run Time Machine between dumping them from my camera and my computer deciding the other day that it would rather host a rave in various shades of blue than boot up, but the nice dude at the Apple store performed some kind of magic OS reinstall that kept all my data. So: Pride! It was pretty great. Here are a whole lotta pictures of it, mostly from my camera but a few from my phone because the camera battery ran out.

here there be rainbows, nudity, rollerblades, motorcycles, a zombie, a drag queen dressed as the Space Needle, butt plugs with attached tails, a person dressed as a giant vulva, a massive Flying Spaghetti Monster, and a pretty epic sunburn )
jedusor: (emergency bourbon)
Pairs of hockey players who should not be allowed to coexist for the sake of my sanity:

Jarret Stoll and Jared Staal
Brad Richards and Brad Richardson
Patrice Bergeron and Patrick Berglund
Sam Gagner and Simon Gagne
Mike Green and Matt Greene
Ray Whitney and Ryan Whitney
Marc-Andre Bourdon and Marc-Andre Bergeron
TJ Brodie and TJ Oshie
Nicklas Backstrom and Niklas Backstrom

These have all led to some serious confusion on my part over the last few months. I only just today realized that "Gagner" is not just an -er nickname for Gagne. And you would think I might have managed to get it into my head over the course of four series watching the Kings that Jared Staal is not actually in the NHL and therefore the announcers are clearly not talking about him, but apparently the Staal clan has taken over my brain enough that I still get mixed up.

Also, the player with the surname "St. Louis" doesn't play for St. Louis, which I bet makes the color commentary for Blues-Lightning games fun times. Fortunately, there are very few circumstances under which I might end up watching a Blues-Lightning game.

Also also, I just calculated that the NHL has an average of .77 people named Ryan per team, including Ryane Clowe but not Bobby Ryan. The Oilers have four Ryans and the Avalanche have three. Ryane looks like it should be the plural of Ryan. Who the heck let him put an E there, anyway? It's a slippery slope, you know--one minute they're slapping silent Es where they don't belong, the next they're slapping their sticks out onto the ice where they definitely don't belong and not even getting a penalty for it. I like the Sharks, but seriously, what the crap even was that.

(This IS my hobby.)
jedusor: (axe murderer)
Here are a few realizations that fundamentally changed the way I interact with the world, spread out over the last ten years or so. I suspect they're not the sort of thing that can really be shared--they kind of represent the results of long build-ups of understanding, rather than being independent nuggets of magic knowledge--but at least one of them has yielded a "WHOA, MIND BLOWN" reaction when I told someone about it, so I figure they're worth writing up.

  • Labels are summaries, not definitions. They can be useful and valuable tools of communication, but you can't understand something complicated by knowing what it's called, especially when the details vary between instances of it.

  • Neural configurations and activity don't lead to thoughts and feelings and perceptions; they are thoughts and feelings and perceptions.

  • People are, in most of the ways that matter, not that different. This is not the end of the world.

  • Nothing is "just" pretend. Pretending causes reality.

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